Roll that ball and hit the Roaches
The lockdown is still on and the weather is getting better which means that for many people the exercise of their choice (or no other choice since leisure and fitness centres are closed) is walking.
Walking is easy and accessible to almost everyone, and our body is normally doing a great job at taking us from point A to B as it is designed to do. However, problems happen and being able to walk longer or more strenuous up/ downhill walks is one of the goals that many of our clients desire or require to be able to fully enjoy their life, spend time with their loved ones or take care of their pets and give them enough exercise.
Walking engages many muscles in our lower and upper body and often keen walkers would give some attention to their quads, hamstring or calves, especially when they ‘can feel the walk’ they have done in these areas.
However there is an area that very often gets forgotten and neglected, yet plays a crucial role in our gait and in overall functioning of our legs as well as the entire superficial fascia line.
Which means, for example that restriction in your foot can create discomfort and reduced range of motion in your neck, in your hamstrings or even in the ‘pinch’ at the front of your foot.
Plantar fascia is a collection of strong tissues that join our toes and heel and are collectively known as plantar fascia. As you can easily imagine, this area plays a crucial role in absorbing shock and distributing weight while we walk, running, jumping etc. Since we live in a society where wearing shoes is more common than not wearing them, first of all our nervous system does not get much information from our feet. Secondly, there is little movement to the tissues at the bottom of our feet and tightness in this area is common.
You can easily test it. Simply sit on your toes and tuck your toes under your feet. How does that feel? Could you stay long in this position? You can also bend forward and try to touch your toes while keeping our legs straight. If you can’t reach, try to roll the bottom of your feet on a golf ball for a few minutes and re-test. You may be surprised with the results.
This can be used as a simple exercise that will help to release the tissues at the bottom of your feet to allow you enjoy longer walks and more time on your feet doing the things that you love. Just grab a golf ball or any tough, round object that you can roll under your foot and you are ready to start. The main thing to remember is not about the speed. Work slowly and with good pressure. You won’t break a sweat and you can even do it while watching your favourite programme or reading a book.
Not bad for an exercise, right?
If you would like to learn more great ways of improving foot mobility, check out our YouTube channel or ask for advice on your next visit.
For now, get the ball rolling and enjoy your next trip to the Roaches feeling like you are walking on air.